17th February, 2017

The Hon. N.H. Cole Simons, JP MP

Minister for the Environment, Planning and Parks

Botanical Gardens, Paget

Sent by email: [email protected]

Cc to [email protected]

Dear Minister Simons

The BUZZ group formed in 2013 and started work, under the auspices of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) and in consultation with experts in various areas both local and overseas, to look at the causes of the local and global die-off of honey-bees. It quickly became evident that there are a number of threats to bees, weakening their health so that they are susceptible to the varroa mite and viruses. One of the threats that many consider indisputable is the impact of pesticides on bees, including (but more than likely not limited to) the group of systemic’ pesticides that includes RoundUp, Rodeo and neonicotinoids.

From the many scientific reports published around the world in recent years, it seems that the chemical formulations of most pesticides also pose threats to human health and so we were alarmed to learn that it is only the active ingredient in a formulation (eg. glyphosate) that is subject to testing and regulation. The so-called ‘inert’ ingredients that make up the balance of the formulation (as much as 98%) are untested and unregulated. The testing for glyphosates that Bermuda undertook recently suddenly seems inadequate especially since we discovered that there is real concern about one of the ‘inert’ ingredients, a coformulant in Rodeo and RoundUp.

That ingredient is POE-tallowamine and it is now being banned in countries in the EU

(https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/eu-agrees-ban-onglyphosate- co-formulant/). One question we would like to have answered is, how will our Government consider the impact of the inert ingredients in toxic products that we import and use in Bermuda?

Read more here: Letter to the Minister-final-Feb 17,2017

The BUZZ is a citizen’s advocacy group initially concerned about the decline in the populations of the honey bee.  While still related to the bees, our recent focus has been on the impact of pesticides, not just on the health of the all-important pollinators but also on human health.  The recent glyphosate testing exercise encouraged us to propose that the Government introduce and implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy and programme for Bermuda so that there can be a reduction in our exposure to environmental toxins and food contaminants.  Read our complete submission here and submit questions or comments by email to [email protected]

Draft – Integrated Pest Management Policy-February 2017